A 3D model of the palace grounds, down to every last brick—with the power of laser scanning and photogrammetry
The project’s “Making Of” video with examples of the 3D data capture, 3D modelling, phase reconstruction, and our in-house VR application prototypes
For the state exhibition “Mycenae – the legendary World of Agamemnon” (December 1st, 2018 – June 2nd, 2019), we had the opportunity to completely and precisely document the Mycenaean palace in Tiryns (Peloponnese, Greece), including its Cyclopean walls, with sub-centimetre accuracy on behalf of the Baden State Museum in Karlsruhe and with the permission of the Greek Ephorate, the German Archaeological Institute, and the University of Heidelberg (Professor Maran) in 2018.
This assignment was originally planned to rely heavily on drones for the documentation. Unfortunately, the flight permits given to us by the Greek authorities were only valid for the early morning and late evening, outside of the palace’s visiting hours. The unfavourable lighting would have affected the photogrammetric quality so strongly that we decided to approach this documentation from a different angle.
Using a 6-metre-long pole with a camera steered by a gimbal, in lieu of the usual drones, we walked the entire area of this expansive monument and took a total of more than 25,000 photos for photogrammetric use from a height of 5-6 metres above the ground. In addition, we recorded nearly 100 laser scans with the RIEGL VZ400 and Leica BLK360.
A high-quality 3D model of the entire palace, accurate down to the very last brick, was created using the data we collected. This 3D model was subsequently used for a multimedia film production for the state exhibition and served as the basis for an interactive media station.
In addition, the appearance of the Bronze-Age citadel both at its height in 1250 BC as well as after its destruction in 1200 BC was reconstructed by our multimedia department.
We also integrated the phase reconstruction of the citadel into a prototype for a virtual reality application, in which the original excavation findings from today can be layered over the reconstruction. This creates various new possibilities for the concrete discussion and analysis of reconstruction work.
We hope that the 3D project can be further developed in cooperation with the German Archaeological Institute, the University of Heidelberg, the Greek Ephorate, and other partners. This data could serve as the foundation for an exciting platform, combining the 130-year-long archaeological excavation history beginning with Heinrich Schliemann, the building research, and the restoration history with the development of a 3D information system.